Linc Smelser - NIU - School of Music

Faculty Directory

Linc SmelserLinc Smelser

Applied Artist
Performer's Certificate, Northern Illinois University
M.M., Northern Illinois University

Office: 815-753-1551

A native of Arizona, Linc Smelser began his piano studies at age 8 with John Akin and cello studies at the age of 10 with Marguerite Rork.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Arizona where he studied with Dr. Gordon Epperson and received his Master’s Degree and Performer’s Certificate in Cello Performance and Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University having studied with renowned cellist and pedagogue Raya Garbousova.  Advanced study included work with cellists Marc Johnson, Ron Leonard, Gabor and Peter Rejto, Heinrich Schiff, the Vermeer Quartet, and pianists Richard Faith and Jerome Lowenthal. 

In 2003, Mr. Smelser was appointed conductor/music director of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra in DeKalb, IL. In 2009 he was awarded Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Arts Council.  He has guest conducted the Rockford Area Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic, the Harper Symphony Orchestra and the Skokie Valley Community Orchestra. He is also conductor of the NIU Sinfonia and Youth Symphonette, two youth symphonies that attract students from the entire Northern Illinois area. 

Mr. Smelser recently appeared as a soloist with Camerata Chicago, performing the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto.  He has also appeared as a soloist with Kishwaukee Symphony, the Illinois Valley Symphony and the Rockford Symphony and has twice appeared in recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series in Chicago, which is broadcast live on over 44 stations across the United States.  He has won several awards including first prize of the National Society of Arts and Letters Chapter Competition, top prize of the National Federation of Music Clubs Regional Competition and first prize of the International Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Competition. 

Mr. Smelser has been a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra Cello section since 1992 and has been an active substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997.  He is also Principal Cellist of Camerata Chicago, a chamber orchestra based in Chicago.  He continues to perform in the group The Three Celli, a chamber ensemble with two other cellists, Stephen Balderston and Brant Taylor, throughout the Northern Illinois Area.

Mr. Smelser is currently in his ninth year as professor of cello at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.  He is also a faculty member of the Northern Illinois University Music Department and has been teaching private cello lessons through the NIU Community School of the Arts since 1988.  Mr. Smelser is also on the faculty of the Chicago Suzuki Institute and the Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute in Utah.  He is also pianist/accompanist for the Northern Illinois University Suzuki program.